Aug 22, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) shakes hands with Carolina Panthers players after the game at Gillette Stadium. Patriots defeated the Panthers 30-7. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
After their big win over the Panthers, a few New England Patriots players spoke to the media.
Q: You guys started out slow, but was it nice to know you could come back?
TB: Yeah, it was a slow start all the way around, but it was good to make some plays there late in the second quarter and then the third quarter. There’s a lot of work to do, but it was fun being out there. It’s great to win, especially this game. They’re a good football team and if you don’t execute well, they’re going to be really tough. I’ve got a lot of respect for those guys [from] playing them last year. They’ve got a great team.
Q: How dangerous is Shane Vereen?
TB: Yeah, he made some great plays tonight. He’s been that way – he’s really had such a dependable role for us for the last few years and just done a great job. When the ball is in his hands, good things are happening for our team. We’re going to try to just keep getting him the ball.
Q: Last week you said the third preseason game was a good barometer for the team with a lot of starters playing. You must be pretty pleased with how the offense is looking?
TB: Yeah, it wasn’t bad, but there are a lot of things that we left out there. We got bailed out there a few times on a few defensive calls. Missed some blitz stuff, missed some throws. I think we can be a lot better. It’s an important week for us to try to get better. The days are winding down until all these games count. It gets pretty exciting here in a few weeks, but you’ve still got to try to use these days to make as many improvements as we can. This game was good because you can really see where you’re at and you can see the things you need to get better. I think there’s a lot of things we can improve on.
Q: In your experience, are you guys where you need to be about this time of the summer?
TB: Yeah, I think we’re just still working at it. You can never stop getting better. We’re going to hopefully be that way through the whole season. Each of these games you learn something. Different players do different things and find different roles for themselves. This was a good game because we’re playing a really good team. They challenge in a lot of areas. Like I said, we got off to a slow start, which you never really want to do, but we made a few plays and got some momentum and ended up having a great lead there at the end of the game. But I think we’re just going to focus on the individual plays and see where were can get better. Because you have to go out there and do it and see where you’re at and adjust to the game speed, adjust to the coverages, and then go out there and execute against a great team in a couple weeks.
Q: What happened on the bobble? Did you trip or did someone step on your foot?
TB: Yeah, I couldn’t tell because I had my back turned, but I think someone just got my foot. I don’t know if it was a defensive lineman or offensive lineman, but, yeah, you never want that to happen. That, against a good team like this, usually ends drives, and that one certainly did this time.
Q: Is your back OK? It looked like someone maybe kneed you in the back when you were trying to get the ball to Shane.
TB: No, I’m good. I feel pretty good.
Q: Your kicker kicked a 60 yarder. How does that uplift a team?
TB: Yeah, I mean, incredible kick. That’s a long ways away, so it gives everybody a lot of confidence that if you get the ball to whatever, the 42-yard line, you’ve got a chance at three points. That was a great kick, great execution by everybody. Hopefully we can get him a little closer during the season and make it a little easier on Steve [Gostkowski], but we know he’s got it there in him if we need that to happen at some point this year.
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